The US Senate approved the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Saturday after 24 hours of opening the bill to debate by a 50-49 vote with one GOP vote missing, Senator Dan Sullivan.  

While all Democrats voted in favour of the bill and Republicans voted against it, GOP Senator Sullivan had to urgently leave due to a family emergency. Hence, 49 votes were recorded against the stimulus bill, shy of a tie by one vote. Vice President Kamala Harris was not required to break the tie this time. 

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Known to be a gruelling amendment process, the Senate voted for 39 amendments over 25 hours in a “vote-a-rama”. The voting was stalled for almost 12 hours due to Senator Joe Manchin, a  moderate democrat favouring the Republican alternative to the unemployment bill, reported CBS News. 

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Senator Dan Sullivan intended to vote against the stimulus bill and had made this clear in a statement saying that it was too expensive. 

“There is no doubt that this bill contains some significant provisions that will help Alaskans, such as funding for struggling individuals and communities, the university system, and additional relief for Alaska’s tourism industry, ” he said. 

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“But too much of this bill has nothing to do with pandemic relief. In fact, only a small fraction of the money being proposed will contribute to vaccinations and public health initiatives,” Sen. Sullivan said on Thursday. 

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Nate Adams, Sullivan’s spokesperson told The Hill that the Alaskan Senator had to rush back due to a family emergency,” Senator Sullivan intended to vote against final passage of the bill and made his opposition clear in a statement on Thursday, after his vote against the motion to proceed with consideration of the bill,” he said.